If you are looking to serve your family a healthier meal, consider mushrooms! Mushrooms are not only a great way to join the Meatless Monday food movement but they also help you cut back on the amount of meat you eat in one sitting.
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Join The Mushroom Council for a Healthier Meal
I have a wonderful local farmer that raises grass fed cows and heritage pigs. It is nice that the animals are raised in a natural environment and are well cared for but it is NOT cheap to provide this type of meat for my family. To compensate for the cost, we reduce our meat consumption as much as possible. Last week, I made a batch of steak soup with 8 ounces of steak that fed 4 people for 2 meals. Cutting back on your meat consumption is not only better for your heath but also better for the environment.
When you cut out the meat in a meal, you need to find something to replace it with. In honor of National Nutrition Month, The Mushroom Council (a group of U.S. mushroom growers) wants to encourage you to “get your plate in shape” with mushrooms. Cooking with mushrooms is incredibly easy and saves you money on your grocery bill.
Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms
You can design a healthier meal just by cutting back on the ground meat and adding in some chopped mushrooms instead. Here are a few facts from the Mushroom Council you may find interesting;
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- Mushrooms are not only low in calories and fat-free, but their flavorful umami content allows for less salt to be used in a dish, without compromising taste
- Mushrooms are the only fresh fruit or vegetable with vitamin D
- Within the produce aisle, mushrooms are a leading source of the antioxidants selenium and ergothioneine; these antioxidants help maintain a healthy immune system
- Mushrooms provide B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid; B vitamins help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Using Mushrooms to Cut Back on Meat
Replacing some of the ground beef, turkey, or other meat with mushrooms in a recipe is an easy technique called “swapability” Mushrooms’ hearty texture and flavor allow you to replace all or just a portion of the meat in your recipe without sacrificing flavor. It is also an economical way to make family meals more nutritious.
Using Mushrooms In Ground Beef Recipes
So, how do you go about replacing a portion of the meat in your diet for mushrooms? It is very simple! Just chop up your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of the ground beef or turkey. Then, cook and season the mushrooms the same way you would meat. If you are replacing only a portion of the meat in a recipe, combine the cooked meat and mushrooms together and use the mix to complete your recipe.
Want to start cooking with mushrooms? Check out the Gordon Ramsay YouTube video below. Gordon enlists the help of mushroom expert Fred Foster to explain the subtleties in the many forms of mushrooms that are available for cooking.
Remember, cutting back on meat is a great way to go green and get healthy. The swapability of mushrooms makes it easy to replace some of the ground beef or turkey in your recipe with mushrooms for a healthier meal. Want to get really adventurous? Skip the meat completely and try some of these vegetarian mushroom recipes:
Vegetarian Mushroom Recipes
- Make these baked eggs in portobello mushroom caps from Confessions of an Overworked Mom
- Skip the meat with these Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers from The Kitchen Whisperer
- Enjoy this mushroom risotto recipe from Wallflower Kitchen
- This Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff from One Green Planet is a classic comfort food dish
- Baby portobello mushrooms are sliced, simmered with Mexican spices, and stuffed into tortillas to make these mushroom carnitas from Connoisseurus Veg
There are so many ways to use mushrooms for a healthier meal.
Share your favorite mushroom recipe with me!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.